A photo of the band Air Waves on stage

There’s an awkward point where Air Waves‘s first visit to Bristol looks to be inauspicious. A venue that was packed for support act Katy J Pearson has emptied out to the bar beyond, and as Nicole Schneit takes the stage, there are perhaps seven of us here. Undeterred, she begins, and it isn’t long before the crowd builds.

Latest album Warrior introduced a more synthy accompaniment to Nicole’s trademark rattling guitar, perhaps showcased most wonderfully on the essential Gay Bets. Live, the keys, alternating with effects-laden lead guitar, add nuance and texture to mathematically-precise basslines and drums, with occasional backing vocals from touring band members Dan and Alejandro.

The set reaches a crescendo around recent single Warrior, a fast-paced exhortation to self-belief which takes on a new urgency live, and is over all to soon. Air Waves exude warmth and energy in equal measure, a welcome respite in a bleak winter.

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